Abuse of the 1st Amendment

The KKK has adopted a stretch of highway in Missouri as part of the state’s litter removal program. The state appealed for obvious reasons and the appeals court and the Supreme Court turned down on grounds of free speech. While it’s nasty, low and down right ugly, it’s legal and our constitution protects speech and expression, regardless of how bigoted it may be. It’s no surprise I’m a supporter of the Bill of Rights, ACLU style, but abuses like this disgust me all the same. The AG of Missouri hits the nail on the head:

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon said he intended to meet with members of the General Assembly to talk about options, which could include abolishing the 18-year-old program.

“The program has served good purpose, involving community groups in cleaning up highways and creating public spirit. But this certainly throws a monkey wrench in that if any group, regardless of its history or its purpose, can rent a portion of public property,” he said.

The national director of the Klan, Thomas Robb, countered:

“The state of Missouri was hanging its hat on the notion that Klan members were creating threats and committing horrible crimes, and that was far from the reality … You can not abolish someone’s first amendment rights simply by what you think might happen,” he said.

Well, Mr. Robb, in fact you can. The government extends their ability to do exactly what you say over the entire Bill of Rights. That’s how we’re detaining citizens at borders for searches with accusing them of anything, issuing wire taps without probable cause, or conducting searches of private property without reason. It’s all there, authorized under the Patriot Act, among other subversive executive orders.